That distraction turned out to be a good thing because the Landing Bay is the largest single area of the ship. Most of the work was already done in the Landing Bay; it mostly needed its components colored in and for the ceiling detail to be added. I ended up doing a lot more than that and now it would be ready for starfighters and a certain familiar freighter to inhabit it. In its current configuration, it doesn’t accommodate as many starfighters as I would have liked but perhaps when the ship is complete I may work on different configurations for different applications of use.
Starting off with the intention of working on the ship’s corridors I proceeded to color all the default corridor wall sections using the same colors from the Situation Room (previously referred to as the Conference Room). I then colored in the end walls for the universal corridor sections. Once that was done I colored the walls in the Escape Pod Junction corridor section. Then, I did the same to the turbolift junction sections. Finally, started to stray from my plan and I worked on coloring the walls for the Briefing Room.
The walls for the Briefing Room were done so I thought I would color the walls of the Landing Bay because it was right next to it. So now I was no longer even thinking about the corridor sections and shifted my concentration to the Landing Bay. I finished coloring all of the walls and then the catwalk above.
Looking down from the catwalk, I decided I didn’t like how the upper floor looked going over the top of the lower floor entrances in the front and back of the Landing Bay. I simply cut out that section of the upper floor and gave the corners the same round profile as the edge corners of the floor on the Main Bridge. I thought maybe there should be guard rails for the upper floor but again, Star Wars type ships just don’t afford that kind of safety; there is no OSHA in that galaxy. Now that the upper floor was cut out my next thought was maybe the repair bays needed side entrances so workers could easily get to neighboring repair bay. I then used the components from the front openings to create the side entrances.
Now that I finalized the shape of the upper floors I thought I look to see how known types of starfighters would fit in Landing Bay. So, I went to Wookieepedia to get schematics of the X-Wing, Y-Wing, A-Wing and the Delta-7 Jedi Starfighter. I cropped the schematics of the starfighters and placed them in the Landing Bay at their approximate sizes. The reason I say approximate is because there are many discrepancies in stated sizes and the scale of their exterior details. The starfighter models from the Star Wars classic trilogy were modeled in all different scales and it didn’t matter because they were all shot separately by ILM. The main problem to me is that the size of astromech droids shown on the models does not match the reported real-life scales. The sizes of the ships I came up with now match up with the actual size of the astromech droids. Besides length, the largest of the 4 starfighters turns out to be the X-Wing which is fine because it still fits nicely. If the X-Wing didn’t fit it would have been a huge issue because it is the most common starfighter in the Rebel Alliance and later, the Galactic Alliance. The Y-Wing fits okay but is less than ideal considering its length so they can land in my Landing Bay but they won’t be part of the ship’s complement. The A-Wings and the even smaller Jedi starfighters are very compact and two can sit side-by-side in the same space required for just one X-Wing.
As I was contemplating the size of the starfighters, while looking overhead, I looked at the corners of the huge bulkhead doors and thought they would look better with 45 degree corners. I changed to corners and thought I would change the corners of the opening on the bottom of the ship’s hull to match. After looking at it I decided it should instead have the same treatment as the hangar doors so I did that instead.
Back to the starfighters… The repair bays for the starfighters were plenty big enough for the X-Wings but there was just one problem: how to get them in there if the there is a shuttle or a small freighter is occupying the Landing Bay. The solution was simple, have a large lift for each repair bay so the fighters could be lowered into. The lifts would be powered by repulsors and have two vertical tracks on either side to restrain their movement. I made the lift platforms just large enough for an X-Wing fighter I decided to add caution stripes to the lift platform and around the upper floor. I thought I would create the stripes with geometry but instead I opted to use a texture for efficiency. Later in the screenshots you will see that I went back and modified to track columns for the lifts so they wouldn’t be as thick as I made them initially.
When I thought I was done with the lift I looked at the openings in the side of the ship and I decided I didn’t like that they didn’t go from floor to ceiling. The openings on star destroyers are pretty much flush with the floors of the landing bays and it looks a whole lot better. To do this I had to change the blast doors from vertical to horizontal to accommodate the additional height of the new openings. It made a more sense to have the blast door operate horizontally because that makes it consistent with the other blast doors on the exterior of the ship.
The next thing I decided to add to the Landing Bay were some small vertical lifts to get workers to and from the lower and upper floor without the need to use the turbolifts. I designed these lifts to fit next to the lower entrances of the Landing Bay. It was a convenient place to put them because I already removed the floor above them. The design of these lifts is very similar to the ones on my previous ship in the rear cargo section. The main difference is that I didn’t want a safety cage because, again, there is no OSHA in the galaxy. It’s go at your own risk of making a Wilhem scream as you fall to your ‘injury”.
The Landing Bay desperately needed a ceiling design to give it a finished look. The design I came up with was inspired by the ceiling of the hideaway Bruce Wayne used in The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises in addition to the Bat Cave. The ceiling is pretty much just a grid of light panels to illuminate the bay. To accommodate the lights, I raised the ceiling by 2 feet. Because of the additional height I added, there needed to be something to transition the top of the walls of the Landing Bay into the ceiling. The transition to the ceiling was accomplished by adding a huge “crown molding” around the edges of the ceiling. To accommodate the support columns, the beveled molding has bump-outs for the tops of the columns.. The molding also goes around the top of the catwalk and I incorporated a strip of lighting for the inside of the catwalk tube into it.
An important element for any Landing Bay in the Star Wars universe is the Tractor Beam. Without a tractor beam it would be nearly impossible for a ship to maneuver itself into a landing bay without crashing or causing a large amount of damage to both vessels. Tractor beams use particle beams of energy to move objects around (typically in space) and many times without ones permission such as the Millennium Falcon being pulled into the Death Star in A New Hope. I could only find one example, of what a tractor beam projector would look like. They really don’t look much different than a movie theater projector so that’s what I went for. The Tractor Beam Projector I created is mounted to the bottom of the outer hull right behind the rear edge of the huge bulkhead doors. I think it was important for it to go there because the beam takes advantage of the forward momentum from the ship when overtaking the smaller ship. That technique would have been used when the Tantive IV was sucked into the belly of the Star Destroyer in the opening scene of A New Hope.
(Shrinking down the column thickness.)
The Landing Bay needed some computer consoles for various functions like communication, operation the doors, the tractor beam and so forth. I saw no need to use anything other than the wall computer consoles from the Helm Section which saved a bit of time. I put two consoles on either side of the entrances on the upper level of the Landing Bay. In the event of a security breach, these consoles can be deactivated or overridden from the Bridge. Originally the thought was to have a control room overlooking the Landing bay but I couldn’t find the right place for it so that potential feature was eliminated.
The final thing I did since the previous update was to add some work benches with built in storage for tools to the repair bays. The work benches are not much different than ones you would see in an auto repair shop or in the garage of a home auto mechanic. Whether droids or people, they both need storage for tools and miscellaneous parts.
What’s next? I’m moving on to the Engineering Room and perhaps the Cargo Holds.